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Cultural Differences

February 1, 2013

What makes some work environments fun and inviting, and others boring and uninspiring? It’s all about office culture. Every office has a culture…some are just more established than others. Studies show companies with an adaptive culture that are aligned with their business goals regularly outperform their competitors. A great work environment also retains loyal employees.

Southwest Airlines is one of the leading examples of a great company culture. One of the statements on the culture page of its website is, “Happy Employees = Happy Customers.” This is a simple statement that holds so much truth. If we enjoy coming to the office each morning, that attitude will shine through in each and every client interaction. Happy employees can also lead to other happy employees, which can make work life even better! The Container Store, BerylHealth and Google are some other companies that are known for their great company cultures.

Although Marketwave is a much smaller business than the above-mentioned companies, we work hard to maintain our culture. We now have a culture committee and we’ve added culture-specific goals to our yearly planning packet that each employee receives in January. Some of the things we try to do each year include community service projects, at least one pro bono project, two or more team outings/off-sites, lunch potlucks, happy hours and a variety of other fun things.

We’ve recently added “Monday Madness” to our growing list; on the first Monday of the month, we gather to take a break from work for a few minutes in the afternoon to do a fun activity together. In our first Monday Madness, Sofia Ruzo led us in stretches that can be done at our desks. We also created a calendar so we can be more proactive in planning and implementing our activities.

Creating a place we’d all like to work is not so much about a list of culture activities; it’s more about bringing everyone together and showing them you value their hard work and commitment to the company. Sometimes, it really is the little things in life that go a long way.

What are some things you do to make your office a desirable place to work?

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